Republican John McCain launched his November election campaign for the White House with an early attack on his Democrat rival Barack Obama. McCain sought to grab some of the spotlight from Obama after the Illinois senator became the first Democratic black US presidential candidate.
McCain criticised Obama’s plan to open talks with states hostile to the United States: “Americans ought to be concerned about the judgement of a Presidential candidate who says he’s ready to talk in person and without conditions with tyrants from Havana to Pyongyang, but hasn’t travelled to Iraq to meet with General (David) Petraeus and see for himself the progress he threatens to reverse. Americans should be concerned.”
The Navy veteran is a strong supporter of the Iraq war, but sought to distance himself from President Bush. He criticised the initial handling of the war and promised a new energy policy to reduce US dependency on foreign oil.